Mr Sylvanus Bedzrah, Secretary, Ghana Association of Writers (GAW), has encouraged young people who have interest in writing to put it into practice because it pays.
He dispelled the notion that writing did not pay as a profession, stressing that, there were a lot of writers who were doing well financially and living comfortably of their craft.
“Writing can fetch you a living just like any other lucrative profession. Don’t just treat writing as a hobby, but a profession worth living for,” he reiterated.
Mr Bedzrah made these remarks at the 6th GAW Literary Awards ceremony in Accra.
The event awarded 19 writers and literary artists in eight categories for their literary works out of more than 50 entries.
The categories include: novel, short story, poetry, children story book, creative nonfiction, Ghanaian language special award, maths and science special award and spoken word.
Mr Bedzrah encouraged prospective writers to join the Association for their talents and skills to be sharpened “professionally”.
He said the Association was currently embarking on a school reading initiative, particularly Junior and Senior High Schools, to inculcate reading habit in students.
Mr Asare Konadu Yamoah, President, Ghana Publishers Association, admonished the writers to enhance their watchdog role in society.
He advised them not to see themselves as just writers, but a voice for the people, especially the marginalised.
Mr Yamoah said the role of the writer was critical to the country’s democracy and freedom of speech.
“It is, therefore, important that writers are encouraged to assume that responsibility for the protection of people’s right to decent life, right to equal treatment under the law and full optimisation of our lives under a democratic system.”
“Writers must see themselves and their works as important to life. Offering every security to the people and their sincere commitment to service to the nation,” he added.
The awardees are: for the novel category, Empi Baryeh, Solomon Kuu-Ire, Ajoa Yeboah Afari; for short story, Doris Akosua Tay; for poetry, Gabriel Awuah Mainoo, Azags Gandaah, Victor Nana Odei Ofei; for spoken word, Apiorkor Seyiram Ashong -Abbey, Nana Fredua-Agyeman Jnr and Osman Abraham Lincoln.
The rest are: Ruby Yayra Goka, Silas Selorm, Mariska ArabaTaylor-Darko for children story book; Richard Nimako, Vincent Anane Denteh, Kofi Adjei, for creative nonfiction; Ebenezer Koomson, for Ghanaian Language, Special Award; Godfred Edusei Derkyi, Michael Opoku Agyemang for Maths and Special Award.
A special award for the youngest entrant in the competition was presented to Rachel Yram Perpetual Brain Tugbedzo.